Why are food allergies increasing in kids?
Reports of U.S. children with a food allergy jumped by a third between 2003-2004 and 2007-2008.The finding is based on survey responses collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from more than 90,000 patients during each of the two time periods. An analysis of other data collected by the surveys implicated younger age, lack of health insurance, and eczema as three factors associated with the increased prevalence of food allergies in children, Dr. Karen A. DeMuth said during a poster presentation at the meeting (J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2012 [doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2011.12.147]).
“These data show us how many parents think their kids have a food allergy,” Dr. DeMuth said.
Three factors were linked on a statistically significant level with the increased rate of food allergies: Age of 0-5 years boosted the food allergies rate by 33%, compared with older children; having no health insurance was linked with a 48% higher rate of food allergy increase; and having eczema or atopic dermatitis was linked with a 4.7-fold higher rate of food-allergy increase, compared with children without skin atopy.